Chapter 6

Chapter VI




by H.G. Wells

by H.G. Wells

Chapter 6

Chaptur 6

`It may seem odd to you, but it was two days before I could follow up the new-found clue in what was manifestly the proper way. I felt a peculiar shrinking from those pallid bodies. They were just the half-bleached colour of the worms and things one sees preserved in spirit in a zoological museum. And they were filthily cold to the touch. Probably my shrinking was largely due to the sympathetic influence of the Eloi, whose disgust of the Morlocks I now began to appreciate. ‘It mae seem od to yoo, bvt it wvz two daez bifoer I kwd foloe vp dhv noo-found kloo in whot wvz manufestly dhv propur wae. I felt a pikuelyur shrinking frvm dhoez palud bodyz. Dhae wvr jvst dhv haf-bleechd kvlur uv dhv wvrmz and thingz wvn seez prizvrvd in spirut in a zooulojikul muezeum. And dhae wvr filthuly koeld to dhv tvch. Probubly mie shrinking wvz larjly doo to dhv simputhetik infloouns uv dhe Eloi, hooz disgvst uv dhv Morloks I nou bigan to upreesheaet.
`The next night I did not sleep well. Probably my health was a little disordered. I was oppressed with perplexity and doubt. Once or twice I had a feeling of intense fear for which I could perceive no definite reason. I remember creeping noiselessly into the great hall where the little people were sleeping in the moonlight–that night Weena was among them–and feeling reassured by their presence. It occurred to me even then, that in the course of a few days the moon must pass through its last quarter, and the nights grow dark, when the appearances of these unpleasant creatures from below, these whitened Lemurs, this new vermin that had replaced the old, might be more abundant. And on both these days I had the restless feeling of one who shirks an inevitable duty. I felt assured that the Time Machine was only to be recovered by boldly penetrating these underground mysteries. Yet I could not face the mystery. If only I had had a companion it would have been different. But I was so horribly alone, and even to clamber down into the darkness of the well appalled me. I don’t know if you will understand my feeling, but I never felt quite safe at my back. ‘Dhv nekst niet I did not sleep wel. Probubly mie helth wvz a litul disordurd. I wvz upresd with purpleksuty and dout. Wvns or twies I had a feeling uv intens fir for which I kwd purseev no defunut reezun. I rimembur kreeping noizlusly into dhv graet haul wher dhv litul peepul wvr sleeping in dhv moonliet—dhat niet Weenu wvz umvng dhem—and feeling reushwrd by dheir prezuns. It ukvrd to me eevun dhen, dhat in dhv kors uv a fue daez dhv moon mvst pas throo its last kwortur, and dhv niets groe dark, when dhe upirunsuz uv dheez unplezunt kreechurz frvm biloe, dheez whietund Leemurz, dhis noo vurrmun dhat had riplaesd dhe oeld, miet be mor ubvndunt. And on boeth dheez daez I had dhv restlus feeling uv wvn hoo shvrks an inevutubul dooty. I felt ushwrd dhat dhv Tiem Musheen wvz oenly to be rikuvvurd by boeldly penutraeting dheez vndurground misturyz. Yet I kwd not faes dhv mistury. If oenly I had had a kumpanyun it wwd hav bin difurunt. Bvt I wvz so horubly uloen, and eevun to klambur doun into dhv darknus uv dhv wel upauld me. I doent knoe if yoo wil undurstand mie feeling, bvt I nevur felt kwiet saef at mie bak.
`It was this restlessness, this insecurity, perhaps, that drove me further and further afield in my exploring expeditions. Going to the south-westward towards the rising country that is now called Combe Wood, I observed far off, in the direction of nineteenth-century Banstead, a vast green structure, different in character from any I had hitherto seen. It was larger than the largest of the palaces or ruins I knew, and the facade had an Oriental look: the face of it having the lustre, as well as the pale-green tint, a kind of bluish-green, of a certain type of Chinese porcelain. This difference in aspect suggested a difference in use, and I was minded to push on and explore. But the day was growing late, and I had come upon the sight of the place after a long and tiring circuit; so I resolved to hold over the adventure for the following day, and I returned to the welcome and the caresses of little Weena. But next morning I perceived clearly enough that my curiosity regarding the Palace of Green Porcelain was a piece of self-deception, to enable me to shirk, by another day, an experience I dreaded. I resolved I would make the descent without further waste of time, and started out in the early morning towards a well near the ruins of granite and aluminium. ‘It wvz dhis restlusnus, dhis insikywruty, purhaps, dhat droev me fvrdhur and fvrdhur ufeeld in mie eksploring ekspudishunz. Going to dhv south-westwurd tuwordz dhv riezing kvntry dhat iz nou kauld Koem Wwd, I ubzvrvd far off, in dhv durekshun uv nienteenth-senchury Bansted, a vast green strvkchur, difurunt in karriktur frvm eny I had hidhurto seen. It wvz larjur dhan dhv larjust uv dhv palusuz or roounz I knoo, and dhv fusod had an Oreentul lwk: dhv faes uv it having dhv lvstur, az wel az dhv pael-green tint, a kiend uv blooish-green, uv a svrtun tiep uv Chieneez porsulun. Dhis difuruns in aspekt sugjestud a difuruns in ues, and I wvz miendud to pwsh on and eksplor. Bvt dhv dae wvz groeing laet, and I had kvm upon dhv siet uv dhv plaes aftur a long and tiering svrkut; so I rizaulvd to hoeld oevur dhe udvenchur for dhv foloeing dae, and I ritvrnd to dhv welkum and dhv kuresuz uv litul Weenu. Bvt nekst morning I purseevd klirly invf dhat mie kywreosuty rigarding dhv Palus uv Green Porsulun wvz a pees uv self-disepshun, to enaebul me to shvrk, by unvdhur dae, an ekspireuns I dredud. I rizaulvd I wwd maek dhv disent without fvrdhur waest uv tiem, and startud out in dhe vrly morning tuwordz a wel nir dhv roounz uv granut and uloomunum.
`Little Weena ran with me. She danced beside me to the well, but when she saw me lean over the mouth and look downward, she seemed strangely disconcerted. “Good-bye, Little Weena,” I said, kissing her; and then putting her down, I began to feel over the parapet for the climbing hooks. Rather hastily, I may as well confess, for I feared my courage might leak away! At first she watched me in amazement. Then she gave a most piteous cry, and running to me, she began to pull at me with her little hands. I think her opposition nerved me rather to proceed. I shook her off, perhaps a little roughly, and in another moment I was in the throat of the well. I saw her agonized face over the parapet, and smiled to reassure her. Then I had to look down at the unstable hooks to which I clung. ‘Litul Weenu ran with me. She dansd bisied me to dhv wel, bvt when she sau me leen oevur dhv mouth and lwk dounwvrd, she seemd straenjly diskunsvrtud. “Gwd-bie, Litul Weenu,” I sed, kising hvr; and dhen pwting hvr doun, I bigan to feel oevur dhv parruput for dhv klieming hwks. Radhur haestuly, I mae az wel kunfes, for I fird mie kvrij miet leek uwae! At fvrst she wochd me in umaezmunt. Dhen she gaev a moest piteus krie, and rvning to me, she bigan to pwl at me with hvr litul handz. I think hvr opuzishun nvrvd me radhur to pruseed. I shwk hvr off, purhaps a litul rvfly, and in unvdhur moemunt I wvz in dhv throet uv dhv wel. I sau hvr aguniezd faes oevur dhv parruput, and smield to reushur hvr. Dhen I had to lwk doun at dhe unstaebul hwks to which I klvng.
`I had to clamber down a shaft of perhaps two hundred yards. The descent was effected by means of metallic bars projecting from the sides of the well, and these being adapted to the needs of a creature much smaller and lighter than myself, I was speedily cramped and fatigued by the descent. And not simply fatigued! One of the bars bent suddenly under my weight, and almost swung me off into the blackness beneath. For a moment I hung by one hand, and after that experience I did not dare to rest again. Though my arms and back were presently acutely painful, I went on clambering down the sheer descent with as quick a motion as possible. Glancing upward, I saw the aperture, a small blue disk, in which a star was visible, while little Weena’s head showed as a round black projection. The thudding sound of a machine below grew louder and more oppressive. Everything save that little disk above was profoundly dark, and when I looked up again Weena had disappeared. ‘I had to klambur doun a shaft uv purhaps two hvndrud yardz. Dhv disent wvz ifektud by meenz uv mutalik barz prujekting frvm dhv siedz uv dhv wel, and dheez being udaptud to dhv needz uv a kreechur mvch smaulur and lietur dhan mielself, I wvz speeduly krampd and futeegd by dhv disent. And not simpuly futeegd! Wvn uv dhv barz bent svdunly vndur mie weit, and aulmoest swvng me off into dhv blaknus bineeth. For a moemunt I hvng by wvn hand, and aftur dhat ekspireuns I did not der to rest ugen. Dhoe mie armz and bak wvr prezuntly ukuetly paenful, I went on klamburing doun dhv shir disent with az kwik a moeshun az posubul. Glansing vpwurd, I sau dhe apurchur, a smaul bloo disk, in which a star wvz vizubul, whiel litul Weenu’z hed shoed az a round blak prujekshun. Dhv thvding sound uv a musheen biloe groo loudur and mor upresiv. Evrything saev dhat litul disk ubuvv wvz prufoundly dark, and when I lwkd vp ugen Weenu had disupird.
`I was in an agony of discomfort. I had some thought of trying to go up the shaft again, and leave the Under-world alone. But even while I turned this over in my mind I continued to descend. At last, with intense relief, I saw dimly coming up, a foot to the right of me, a slender loophole in the wall. Swinging myself in, I found it was the aperture of a narrow horizontal tunnel in which I could lie down and rest. It was not too soon. My arms ached, my back was cramped, and I was trembling with the prolonged terror of a fall. Besides this, the unbroken darkness had had a distressing effect upon my eyes. The air was full of the throb and hum of machinery pumping air down the shaft. ‘I wvz in an aguny uv diskvmfurt. I had svm thaut uv trieing to go vp dhv shaft ugen, and leev dhe Vndur-wvruld uloen. Bvt eevun whiel I tvrnd dhis oevur in mie miend I kuntinued to disend. At last, with intens rileef, I sau dimly kvming vp, a fwt to dhv riet uv me, a slendur loophoel in dhv waul. Swinging mieself in, I found it wvz dhe apurchur uv a narroe horuzintul tvnul in which I kwd lie doun and rest. It wvz not too soon. Mie armz aekd, mie bak wvz krampd, and I wvz trembuling with dhv prulongd terur uv a faul. Bisiedz dhis, dhe unbroekun darknus had had a distresing ifekt upon mie iez. Dhe er wvz fwl uv dhv throb and hvm uv musheenury pvmping er doun dhv shaft.
`I do not know how long I lay. I was roused by a soft hand touching my face. Starting up in the darkness I snatched at my matches and, hastily striking one, I saw three stooping white creatures similar to the one I had seen above ground in the ruin, hastily retreating before the light. Living, as they did, in what appeared to me impenetrable darkness, their eyes were abnormally large and sensitive, just as are the pupils of the abysmal fishes, and they reflected the light in the same way. I have no doubt they could see me in that rayless obscurity, and they did not seem to have any fear of me apart from the light. But, so soon as I struck a match in order to see them, they fled incontinently, vanishing into dark gutters and tunnels, from which their eyes glared at me in the strangest fashion. ‘I do not knoe hou long I lae. I wvz rouzd by a soft hand tvching mie faes. Starting vp in dhv darknus I snachd at mie machuz and, haestuly strieking wvn, I sau three stooping whiet kreechurz simulur to dhv wvn I had seen ubuvv ground in dhv rooun, haestuly ritreeting bifoer dhv liet. Living, az dae did, in whot upird to me impenutrubul darknus, dheir iez wvr abnormuly larj and sensutiv, jvst az ar dhv puepulz uv dhe ubizmul fishuz, and dhae riflektud dhv liet in dhv saem wae. I hav no dout dhae kwd see me in dhat raelus ubskywruty, and dhae did not seem to hav eny fir uv me upart frvm dhv liet. Bvt, so soon az I strvk a mach in ordur to see dhem, dhae fled inkontununtly, vanishing into dark gvturz and tvnulz, frvm which dheir iez glerd at me in dhv straenjust fashun.
`I tried to call to them, but the language they had was apparently different from that of the Over-world people; so that I was needs left to my own unaided efforts, and the thought of flight before exploration was even then in my mind. But I said to myself, “You are in for it now,” and, feeling my way along the tunnel, I found the noise of machinery grow louder. Presently the walls fell away from me, and I came to a large open space, and striking another match, saw that I had entered a vast arched cavern, which stretched into utter darkness beyond the range of my light. The view I had of it was as much as one could see in the burning of a match. ‘I tried to kaul to dhem, bvt dhv langgwij dhae had wvz uparruntly difurunt frvm dhat uv dhe Oevur-wvruld peepul; so dhat I wvz needz left to mie oen unaedud efurts, and dhv thaut uv fliet bifoer eksploraeshun wvz eevun dhen in mie miend. Bvt I sed to mieself, “Yoo ar in for it nou,” and, feeling mie wae ulong dhv tvnul, I found dhv noiz uv musheenury groe loudur. Prezuntly dhv waulz fel uwae frvm me, and I kaem to a larj oepun spaes, and strieking unvdhur mach, sau dhat I had enturd a vast archd kavurn, which strechd into vtur darknus beond dhv raenj uv mie liet. Dhv vue I had uv it wvz az mvch az wvn kwd see in dhv bvrning uv a mach.
`Necessarily my memory is vague. Great shapes like big machines rose out of the dimness, and cast grotesque black shadows, in which dim spectral Morlocks sheltered from the glare. The place, by the by, was very stuffy and oppressive, and the faint halitus (vapor/odor?) of freshly shed blood was in the air. Some way down the central vista was a little table of white metal, laid with what seemed a meal. The Morlocks at any rate were carnivorous! Even at the time, I remember wondering what large animal could have survived to furnish the red joint I saw. It was all very indistinct: the heavy smell, the big unmeaning shapes, the obscene figures lurking in the shadows, and only waiting for the darkness to come at me again! Then the match burned down, and stung my fingers, and fell, a wriggling red spot in the blackness. ‘Nesuseruly mie memury iz vaeg. Graet shaeps like big musheenz roez out uv dhv dimnus, and kast groetesk blak shadoez, in which dim spektrul Morloks shelturd frvm dhv gler. Dhv plaes, by dhv by, wvz very stvfy and upresiv, and dhv faent halutus (vaepur/oedur?) uv freshly shed blvd wvz in dhe er. Svm wae doun dhv sentrul vistu wvz a litul taebul uv whiet metul, laed with whot seemd a meel. Dhv Morloks at eny raet wvr karnivurus! Eevun at dhv tiem, I rimembur wvnduring whot larj anumul kwd hav survievd to fvrnish dhv red joint I sau. It wvz aul very indistinkt: dhv hevy smel, dhv big unmeening shaeps, dhe ubseen figyurz lvrking in dhv shadoez, and oenly waeting for dhv darknus to kvm at me ugen! Dhen dhv mach bvrnd doun, and stvng mie finggurz, and fel, a riguling red spot in dhv blaknus.
`I have thought since how particularly ill-equipped I was for such an experience. When I had started with the Time Machine, I had started with the absurd assumption that the men of the Future would certainly be infinitely ahead of ourselves in all their appliances. I had come without arms, without medicine, without anything to smoke–at times I missed tobacco frightfully–even without enough matches. If only I had thought of a Kodak (Camera)! I could have flashed that glimpse of the Underworld in a second, and examined it at leisure. But, as it was, I stood there with only the weapons and the powers that Nature had endowed me with–hands, feet, and teeth; these, and four safety-matches that still remained to me. ‘I hav thaut sins hou purtikyulurly il-ikwipd I wvz for svch an ekspireuns. When I had startud with dhv Tiem Musheen, I had startud with dhe absvrd usvmpshun dhat dhv men uv dhv Fuechur wwd svrtunly be infunutly uhed uv ourselvz in aul dheir upliunsuz. I had kvm without armz, without medusun, without enything to smoek—at tiemz I misd tubakoe frietfuly—eevun without invf machuz. If oenly I had thaut uv a Kodak (kamuru)! I kwd hav flashd dhat glimps uv dhe Vndurwuruld in a sekund, and egzamund it at leezhur. Bvt, az it wvz, I stwd dher with oenly dhv wepunz and dhv pourz dhat Naechur had endoud me with—handz, feet, and teeth; dheez, and faur saefty-machuz dhat stil rimaend to me.
`I was afraid to push my way in among all this machinery in the dark, and it was only with my last glimpse of light I discovered that my store of matches had run low. It had never occurred to me until that moment that there was any need to economize them, and I had wasted almost half the box in astonishing the Upper-worlders, to whom fire was a novelty. Now, as I say, I had four left, and while I stood in the dark, a hand touched mine, lank fingers came feeling over my face, and I was sensible of a peculiar unpleasant odour. I fancied I heard the breathing of a crowd of those dreadful little beings about me. I felt the box of matches in my hand being gently disengaged, and other hands behind me plucking at my clothing. The sense of these unseen creatures examining me was indescribably unpleasant. The sudden realization of my ignorance of their ways of thinking and doing came home to me very vividly in the darkness. I shouted at them as loudly as I could. They started away, and then I could feel them approaching me again. They clutched at me more boldly, whispering odd sounds to each other. I shivered violently, and shouted again rather discordantly. This time they were not so seriously alarmed, and they made a queer laughing noise as they came back at me. I will confess I was horribly frightened. I determined to strike another match and escape under the protection of its glare. I did so, and eking out the flicker with a scrap of paper from my pocket, I made good my retreat to the narrow tunnel. But I had scarce entered this when my light was blown out and in the blackness I could hear the Morlocks rustling like wind among leaves, and pattering like the rain, as they hurried after me. ‘I wvz ufraed to pwsh mie wae in umvng aul dhis musheenury in dhv dark, and it wvz oenly with mie last glimps uv liet I diskuvvurd dhat mie stor uv machuz had rvn loe. It had nevur ukvrd to me until dhat moemunt dhat dher wvz eny need to yconumiez dhem, and I had waestud aulmoest haf dhv boks in ustonishing dhe Vpur-wvruldurz, to hoom fier wvz a novulty. Nou, az I sae, I had faur left, and whiel I stwd in dhv dark, a hand tvchd mien, lank finggurz kaem feeling oevur mie faes, and I wvz sensubul uv a pikuelyur unplezunt oedur. I fansyd I hvrd dhv breedhing uv a kroud uv dhoez dredful litul beingz ubout me. I felt dhv boks uv machuz in mie hand being jently disengaejd, and vdhur handz bihiend me plvking at mie kloedhing. Dhv sens uv dheez unseen kreechurz egzamuning me wvz indiskriebubly unplezunt. Dhv svdun reuluzaeshun uv mie ignuruns uv dheir waez uv thinking and doing kaem hoem to me very vivudly in dhv darknus. I shoutud at dhem az loudly az I kwd. Dhae startud uwae, and dhen I kwd feel dhem uproeching me ugen. Dhae klvchd at me mor boeldly, whispuring od soundz to eech vdhur. I shivurd viuluntly, and shoutud ugen radhur diskorduntly. Dhis tiem dhae wvr not so sireusly ularmd, and dhae maed a kwir lafing noiz az dhae kaem bak at me. I wil kunfes I wvz horubly freitund. I ditvrmund to striek unvdhur mach and eskaep vndur dhv prutekshun uv its gler. I did so, and eeking out dhv flikur with a skrap uv paepur frvm mie pokut, I maed gwd mie ritreet to dhv narroe tvnul. Bvt I had skers enturd dhis when mie liet wvz bloen out and in dhv blaknus I kwd hir dhv Morloks rvsuling like wind umvng leevz, and paturing like dhv raen, az dhae hvryd aftur me.
`In a moment I was clutched by several hands, and there was no mistaking that they were trying to haul me back. I struck another light, and waved it in their dazzled faces. You can scarce imagine how nauseatingly inhuman they looked–those pale, chinless faces and great, lidless, pinkish-grey eyes!–as they stared in their blindness and bewilderment. But I did not stay to look, I promise you: I retreated again, and when my second match had ended, I struck my third. It had almost burned through when I reached the opening into the shaft. I lay down on the edge, for the throb of the great pump below made me giddy. Then I felt sideways for the projecting hooks, and, as I did so, my feet were grasped from behind, and I was violently tugged backward. I lit my last match . . . and it incontinently went out. But I had my hand on the climbing bars now, and, kicking violently, I disengaged myself from the clutches of the Morlocks and was speedily clambering up the shaft, while they stayed peering and blinking up at me: all but one little wretch who followed me for some way, and well nigh secured my boot as a trophy. ‘In a moemunt I wvz klvchd by sevurul handz, and dher wvz no mustaeking dhat dhae wvr trieing to haul me bak. I strvk unvdhur liet, and waevd it in dheir dazuld faesuz. Yoo kan skers imajun hou nauzeaetingly inhuemun dhae lwkd—dhoez pael, chinlus faesuz and graet, lidlus, pinkish-grae iez!—az dhae sterd in dheir bliendnus and biwildurmunt. Bvt I did not stae to lwk, I promus yoo: I ritreetud ugen, and when mie sekund mach had endud, I strvk mie thvrd. It had aulmoest bvrnd throo when I reechd dhe oepuning into dhv shaft. I lae doun on dhe ej, for dhv throb uv dhv graet pvmp biloe maed me gidy. Dhen I felt siedwaez for dhv prujekting hwks, and, az I did so, mie feet wvr graspd frvm behiend, and I wvz viuluntly tvgd bakwurd. I lit mie last mach . . . and it inkontununtly went out. Bvt I had mie hand on dhv klieming barz nou, and, kiking viuluntly, I disengaejd mieself frvm dhv klvchuz uv dhv Morloks and wvz speeduly klamburing vp dhv shaft, whiel dhae staed piring and blinking vp at me: aul bvt wvn litul wrech hoo foloed me for svm wae, and wel nie sikywrd mie boot az a troefy.
`That climb seemed interminable to me. With the last twenty or thirty feet of it a deadly nausea came upon me. I had the greatest difficulty in keeping my hold. The last few yards was a frightful struggle against this faintness. Several times my head swam, and I felt all the sensations of falling. At last, however, I got over the well-mouth somehow, and staggered out of the ruin into the blinding sunlight. I fell upon my face. Even the soil smelt sweet and clean. Then I remember Weena kissing my hands and ears, and the voices of others among the Eloi. Then, for a time, I was insensible. ‘Dhat kliem seemd intvrmunubul to me. With dhv last twenty or thvrty feet uv it a dedly nauzeu kaem upon me. I had dhv graetust difikulty in keeping mie hoeld. Dhv last fue yardz wvz a frietful strvgul ugenst dhis faentnus. Sevurul tiemz mie hed swam, and I felt aul dhv sensaeshunz uv fauling. At last, houevur, I got oevur dhv wel-mouth svmhou, and stagurd out uv dhv rooun into dhv bliending svnliet. I fel upon mie faes. Eevun dhv soil smeld sweet and kleen. Dhen I rimembur Weenu kising mie handz and irz, and dhv voisuz uv vdhurz umvng dhe Eloi. Dhen, for a tiem, I wvz insensubul.






About Paul Stought

This blog will only be about spelling reform and Mentur. I am a retired machinist. I have been studying spelling reform since about 2000. I decided Mentur is what I would like to see as a user-friendly spelling system for English. Spelling reformers in general have widely differing views on the subject.
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